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Himachal

Posted at: Aug 14, 2019, 7:37 AM; last updated: Aug 14, 2019, 7:37 AM (IST)

Ordinance to shift cases from SAT to HC promulgated

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 13

The Himachal Government today promulgated the Himachal Pradesh Administrative Tribunal (Transfer of decided cases and pending applications) Ordinance, 2019 in view of the scrapping of the State Administrative Tribunal, earlier. 

The ordinance has been issued so that the decided and pending cases can be transferred to the high court. The Bill for formal transfer of cases is likely to be tabled and passed by the Vidhan Sabha during the monsoon session, commencing from August 19 later this month.

The ordinance mentions that every petition or proceeding which was transferred by the high court to the tribunal and decided by the tribunal or is pending on the date of commencement of this ordinance before the tribunal shall stand transferred back to the high court. It has also been clearly spelt out that as soon as after the transfer of applications or proceedings under section (3), the High Court or the civil court concerned as the case may be, shall intimate the parties or their counsel accordingly.

The SAT in Himachal had been set up on September 1, 1986 with Justice H S Thakur being its first Chairman. The BJP regime headed by PK Dhumal had wound up the SAT in July 2008 after assuming power. It was Virbhadra-led Congress regime which reinstated the SAT on February 28, 2014 as it was the highlight of the party’s election manifesto in the 2012 assembly polls.

Even though the issue of winding up of SAT had upset the lawyers, who had met Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur to rethink the issue but the BJP regime had made up its mind on winding up the SAT. In fact, the scrapping of the SAT had figured in the Vision Document of the BJP. 

As such the SAT has triggered a tug of war between the Congress and the BJP with both adopting a conflicting stand on it. The Congress leaders have openly said that when returned to power, the party will re-open SAT as had been done by the Virbhadra regime in 2014. 

It was the state government which at its Cabinet meeting on July 3, 2019 had decided to abolish SAT. It was on July 26 that the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension (Department of Personal and Training) had issued the notification for closure of the SAT. “The Central Government has rescinded the notification issued on December 29, 2014 for the creation of the SAT in Himachal,” the order read.

The CM had clearly said that there was opposition among the ministers, party legislators, other elected representatives and organizational leaders about the functioning of SAT. He had not minced words to hint that cases in the SAT were not being decided on merit and all transfers being ordered by his regime were being given stay by the SAT, which had irked most BJP MLAs and ministers. 


Conflicting stand by parties

  • The SAT in Himachal had been set up on September 1, 1986.
  • The BJP regime headed by PK Dhumal had wound up the SAT in July 2008 after assuming power. It was Virbhadra-led Congress regime which reinstated the SAT on February 28, 2014.
  • As such the SAT has triggered a tug of war between the Congress and the BJP with both adopting a conflicting stand on it. 
  • The Congress leaders have openly said that when returned to power, the party will re-open SAT as had been done by the Virbhadra regime in 2014.

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